Articles in refereed journals and volumes
“Lobbying and Policy Extremism in Repeated Elections” (2021) with Peter Bils and Gleason Judd. We investigate the effect of lobbying on policy choices in an infinite-horizon model of elections. We find that when the effectiveness of money is fixed, if office incentives become large, then policy choices converge to the median. However, if office incentives are fixed and the effectiveness of money becomes large, then polarized equilibria that exhibit arbitrarily extreme policy choices by all politician types can be supported. Here are some slides from a talk. Journal of Economic Theory, forthcoming.
“Subgame-Perfect Equilibrium in Games with Almost Perfect Information: Dispensing with Public Randomization” (2020) with Paulo Barelli. Harris, Reny, and Robson (1995) show that correlated subgame perfect equilibrium exist in a general class of dynamic games. We show that when nature’s moves are atomless, every such equilibrium can be de-correlated: there is a payoff-equivalent subgame-perfect equilibrium of the original game. As a corollary, we obtain an existence result of He and Sun (2016) for subgame perfect equilibria in games with atomless moves by nature. Theoretical Economics, forthcoming.
"Representative Voting Games" (2020) with Jean Guillaume Forand. We examine policy outcomes in dynamic elections in which the identity of a representative voter depends on an evolving state variable. We show that a subset of "reelection balanced" equilibria of the electoral model match the stationary Markov equilibria of a stochastic game played among representative voters, if politicians are sufficiently office motivated. We also provide general conditions for existence of a representative voter in each state. Social Choice and Welfare, forthcoming.
"A Model of Interest Group Influence and Campaign Advertising" (2021) with Zuheir Desai. We propose a model in which interest groups contribute money for campaign advertising, which informs a proportion of voters about the policy position of the challenger. The model admits the possibility of positive and negative advertising (to help or hurt the challenger, respectively), but we show that in a given equilibrium, only one type of advertising is possible; the sort realized depends on voters' priors over the challenger. In a positive advertising equilibrium, challengers in a centrally located "funding interval" receive contributions, and in a negative advertising equilibrium, extreme challengers are targeted. Here is the last version before publication. Quarterly Journal of Political Science, 16: 105-137.
“Electoral Accountability and Responsive Democracy” (2020) with Cesar Martinelli. We analyze a canonical two-period model of elections in which politicians’ preferences and actions are imperfectly observed by voters, i.e., elections are subject to adverse selection and moral hazard. We establish existence of electoral equilibrium, and we give a characterization of equilibria. We show that as politicians become more office motivated, policy is responsive to voter preferences in the sense that the expected level of effort exerted by politicians in the first period becomes arbitrarily large. We allow for the possibility that excessive effort is harmful to voters, and thus the welfare implications of the analysis depend on the properties of voter preferences. Here is the last version before publication. The Economic Journal, 130: 675-715.
"A Formal Theory of Democratic Deliberation" (2020) with Hun Chung. We provide a framework to model three forms of democratic deliberation: myopic discussion, constructive discussion, and debate. The debate game has a unique subgame perfect equilibrium outcome, which is a compromise of the preferences of the participants. In contrast to the first two forms, debate always concludes with a single outcome (rather than a cycle) and this outcome is path independent (does not depend on the status quo). Here is a link to the technical appendix. American Political Science Review, 114: 14-35.
"Lobbying as a Multidimensional Tug of War" (2020) with Jacque Gao. We analyze lobbying as a contest in which each lobbyist exerts effort, and effort levels continuously determine a policy outcome in a multidimensional space. We solve for the unique pure strategy equilibrium, and we examine comparative statics with respect to a preference parameter, e.g., if lobbyists become more sensitive to large policy losses, then the equilibrium outcome converges to the Rawlsian policy, which maximizes the payoff of the worst-off lobbyist. The model has the additional interpretation of committee deliberation, in which members each attempt to pull the outcome in their preferred directions. Here is the last version before publication. Social Choice and Welfare, 54: 141-166.
"Weak Rationalizability and Arrovian Impossibility Results for Responsive Social Choice" (2019) I give representation theorems for choice functions satisfying weak rationality conditions, and I use these to deduce impossibility theorems for preference aggregation satisfying responsiveness conditions along with weak (or no!) rationality conditions. Here is the last version before publication. Public Choice, 179: 7--40.
"Necessary Gradient Restrictions at the Core of a Voting Rule" (2018) This paper strengthens known gradient restrictions for the core of a voting rule. For the special case of majority rule with an even number of voters, it implies that if a core point is the ideal point of one voter, then for every pair of voters whose gradients do not point in opposite directions, there is a third voter whose gradient is semi-positively dependent with the gradients of the first two. A difficulty in the proof of a result by Schofield (1983) is identified, and a counterexample is presented. Here is the last version before publication. Journal of Mathematical Economics, 79: 1--9.
“Directional Equilibria” (2018) with Hun Chung. We propose a new solution concept (directional equilibrium) for the multidimensional spatial model. We establish connections the core, Pareto optimality, existence, and generic local uniqueness and stability, and we provide non-cooperative foundations. The main update is a generalization of Theorem 1, which shows that if an alternative belongs to the majority core, then it is a directional equilibrium; the proof uses the gradient restriction provided in "Necessary Gradient Restrictions at the Core of a Voting Rule." Here is the last version before publication; here is a working paper with results on generic properties; here are some slides from a longer talk; and here are slides from a shorter talk. Journal of Theoretical Politics, 30: 272--305.
"Existence and Indeterminacy of Markovian Equilibria in Dynamic Bargaining Games" (2018) with Vincent Anesi. We show that if certain gradient restrictions hold at an alternative, then when players are sufficiently patient, there is a continuum of equilibria with absorbing sets arbitrarily close to that alternative. Here is a longer working paper with a result that delivers a continuum of Pareto efficient equilibria. Here are some slides from a talk. Theoretical Economics, 13: 505--525.
“The Political Economy of Dynamic Elections: Accountability, Commitment, and Responsiveness” (2017) with Cesar Martinelli. This paper contains a survey and synthesis of the literature on electoral accountability, i.e., repeated elections in which politicians cannot commit their policy choices. We establish sets of conditions under which policy choices nevertheless reflect the preferences of the median voter. Here is the latest version before publication. Here is a working paper that contains proofs omitted from the shorter paper. Journal of Economic Literature, 55: 916--984.
“Term Limits and Bounds on Policy Responsiveness in Dynamic Elections” (2017) I examine the possibility of policy responsiveness in an infinite-horizon model of elections with a two-period term limit, under the assumption of adverse selection and moral hazard. I characterize equilibria and prove existence of equilibrium, pointing out and correcting an error in the proof of Banks and Sundaram (1998). The current version contains corrections of many errors in the previous version. Here are some slides from a talk. Journal of Economic Theory, 170: 426--463.
“Dynamic Bargaining and Stability with Veto Players” (2017) with Vincent Anesi. We establish ergodic properties of equilibria in the finite environment of Anesi (2012), and we show that when players are patient and the voting rule is oligarchical, a set is a von Neumann-Morgenstern solution if and only if it consists of the absorbing points of an equilibrium. We also establish this result in the model with general voting rule and a persistent agenda setter. Games and Economic Behavior, 103: 30--40.
“Existence of Stationary Bargaining Equilibria” (2017) An existence theorem for stationary equilibria in a general class of bargaining models assuming only continuity and compactness conditions -- no convexity or comprehensiveness assumptions are used. This is a revision of the paper formerly known as “Coalitional Bargaining Equilibria”. Here are some slides from a shorter talk that was pretty good. Here are some slides from a longer talk that was probably less clear. Games and Economic Behavior, 102: 111--126.
“May’s Theorem in One Dimension” (2017) I provide characterizations of majority rule using the axioms of Kenneth May, but assuming single-peaked preferences and substituting transitivity properties for the more controversial positive responsiveness axiom. Journal of Theoretical Politics,29: 3--21.
"Limits of Acyclic Voting" (2016) An Arrovian result for acyclic social choice under the independence of irrelevant alternatives, plus results for saturated domains, large numbers of alternatives, and a version of acyclicity that precludes cycles of an arbitrary, fixed length. The last version before publication is here. Here is a version of “Limits of Acyclic Voting and Nash Implementation" with cool, throwback type setting, and here are slides from a talk. Journal of Economic Theory, 163: 658--683.
“Purification of Bayes Nash Equilibrium with Correlated Types and Interdependent Payoffs” (2015) with Paulo Barelli. Here are some slides from a talk, and here is the last version prior to publication. Games and Economic Behavior, 94: 1--14.
“Preference Exclusions for Social Rationality” (2015) I provide conditions for transitive and acyclic voting under general preference restrictions, and I extend known results for value restriction, single peakedness, weak single peakedness, and order restriction. For median voter theorems and representative voter theorems, see my unpublished paper, “Value Restriction, Median Voters, and the Core.” Social Choice and Welfare, 46: 93--118.
“Extremal Choice Equilibrium with Applications to Large Games, Stochastic Games, and Endogenous Institutions” (2015) with Paulo Barelli, Journal of Economic Theory, 155: 95--130. Here is the last version prior to publication.
"Bargaining Foundations of the Median Voter Theorem" (2009) with Seok-ju Cho, Journal of Economic Theory, 144: 851--868. Here is the final version prior to publication. Here is a working paper that allows for an even number of voters and heterogeneous discount factors. Here are some slides from a short seminar, here are some slides from a longer presentation at the Wallis conference, and here are some detailed slides.
"A Dynamic Model of Democratic Elections in Multidimensional Policy Spaces" (2008) with Jeff Banks, Quarterly Journal of Political Science, 3: 269--299. This is my last published paper with Jeff. Here is a working paper with a section on the Bayesian foundations of our model.
"Dynamics of the Presidential Veto: A Computational Analysis" (2008) with Tasos Kalandrakis and Vikram Manjunath, Mathematical and Computer Modelling, 48: 1570--1589. Here is the final version of the paper prior to publication.
"Electoral Competition with Privately Informed Candidates" (2007) with Dan Bernhardt and Francesco Squintani, Games and Economic Behavior, 58: 1--29. Here is the last version prior to publication. Here are some slides from a talk.
"Social Choice and Electoral Competition in the General Spatial Model" (2006) with Jeff Banks and Michel Le Breton, Journal of Economic Theory, 126: 194--234. Here is the last version prior to publication.
"Candidate Objectives and Electoral Equilibrium" (2006) in The Oxford Handbook of Political Economy, Barry Weingast and Donald Wittman, eds., Oxford: Oxford University Press. Here is the final version prior to publication.
“Probabilistic Voting in the Spatial Model of Elections: The Theory of Office-Motivated Candidates” (2005) in Social Choice and Strategic Decisions: Essays in Honor of Jeffrey S. Banks,David Austen-Smith and John Duggan, eds., New York: Springer. Here is the last version prior to publication.
"Electoral Competition with Policy-Motivated Candidates" (2005) with Mark Fey, Games and Economic Behavior, 51: 490--522. Here is the last version prior to publication. Here are some slides from a talk.
"Implementing the Efficient Allocation of Pollution" (2002) with Joanne Roberts, American Economic Review, 92: 1070--1078. Here is the last version prior to publication, and here is a version that includes an analysis of the model with incomplete information.
"Bounds for Mixed Strategy Equilibria and the Spatial Model of Elections" (2002) with Jeff Banks and Michel Le Breton, Journal of Economic Theory, 103: 88--105. Here is the last version prior to publication.
"Mixed Refinements of Shapley's Saddles and Weak Tournaments" (2001) with Michel Le Breton, Social Choice and Welfare, 8: 65--78. Here is CORE Discussion Paper no. 9921, which contains more material on weak tournaments and rationalizable sets.
"Strategic Manipulability without Resoluteness or Shared Beliefs: Gibbard-Satterthwaite Generalized" (2000) with Tom Schwartz, Social Choice and Welfare, 17: 85--93. Here is the last version prior to publication, and here is Caltech Social Science Working Paper no. 817, which contains a version of our result with a stronger range condition and weaker non-dictatorship condition.